THEOPHIL HANSEN. Arts and Crafts is a small presentation by the MAK devoted to the decorative arts of the renowned architect
of the Vienna Ringstrasse Theophil Hansen (1813 Copenhagen1891 Vienna). To celebrate his 200th birthday, selected works
in glass, ceramic, and metal executed after designs by the Danish-Austrian architect will be displayed in the MAK Glass Study
Collection, also furniture from the extensive holdings in the MAK collection.
As one of the leading exponents of so-called strict historicism, Hansen regarded his buildings as completed only in an integration
of architecture and the applied arts. Besides planning major buildings in Vienna and Lower Austria, including Herrnstein Castle
(18561880), the Musikverein (18671870), the Börse (Exchange) (18741877), the former Reichsratsgebäude (Imperial
Council building), todays Parliament (18741883), and the Academy of Fine Arts (18711876), the architect
also developed their overall interior design. His studies at the Royal Danish Academy of Art in Copenhagen, the model set
for him by Karl Friedrich Schinkel, and a sojourn of several years in Athens equipped him with the necessary resources also
for becoming an experienced designer of utility objects. For him this was part of architecture in its connection to the concept
of the Gesamtkunstwerk in historicismthe synaesthetic, total work of art.
Hansens language of forms is marked by clear, very fine detailing, a consistently constructive overall structure, and
the use of sculptural individual motifs such as acanthus scrolls, dolphins, sphinxes, and putti. The architect was particularly
eager to apply models and stylistic citations also to his works in the decorative arts. The MAK presentation is based around
a central rostrum bearing the gas chandelierover three meters talldesigned by Hansen around 1890 and executed
by the Hollenbachs Neffen company and selected pieces of furniture after the architects designs. The glass display
cases flanking this installation contain glass and ceramics made between 1864 and 1874, in part by J. & L. Lobmeyr and the
Wiener Porzellanmanufaktur (Vienna Porcelain Manufactory) after Theophil Hansens designs. Besides these major firms
from the Vienna Ringstrasse period, the architect worked intensively together with the jeweler A. E. Köchert and the silversmith
company of Mayerhofer & Klinkosch. The old established Viennese enterprise of J. & L. Lobmeyr was the most regular commissioner
of numerous works in glass; in fact, Hansen planned the overall interior design for the residence of Ludwig Lohmeyr, the company
The presentation THEOPHIL HANSEN. Arts and Crafts is a tribute to the lone wolf Hansen as well as to his tectonically evolved
design in the applied arts, and documents this special aspect of his work and influence in Vienna.
Curator Rainald Franz, Curator, MAK Glass and Ceramics Collection
With representative holdings of ceramics from Austrian production from the sixteenth century until today, unique groups of
objects such as the legacy of the Wiener Porzellanmanufactur (Vienna Porcelain Manufactory) and the extensive collection of
tiled stoves, hafner ware, and majolica of the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries. The MAKs Ceramics Collection is
one of the foremost collections of its type in the world.